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Sócrates helicopter purchase slammed by Court of Auditors

helicopterThe judges of the Court of Auditors have criticised sharply the behaviour and actions of one of José Sócrates' Secretaries of State, Rocha Andrade.

At issue is the purchase of Kamov helicopters, the fact they were late in being delivered, that the taxpayer was charged €22,000 an hour for replacements hired to fight fires, and that the government did not apply penalty clauses in full.

The Sócrates government opted to buy Kamov helicopters in 2006 as Portugal did not have any suitable aircraft to fight fires and continuing to hire them was expensive.

Heliportugal, the company chosen to supply the six Russian built Kamov helicopters for €42.1 million, failed to deliver the order within the contracted time period which forced the state into hiring additional fire fighting aircraft in the summer of 2007.

The Court of Auditors judges have concluded that the state, represented by Rocha Andrade, pretty much ignored the part in the contract that stipulated the delivery times and associated penalty clauses should the helicopters be late, which they were.

Heliportugal also was paid largely up front even though the delays were evident.

The judges concluded that the government did not act in the public interest as Heliportugal paid €2.5 million in penalty payments, just 14.9% of the total amount that the government should have claimed and received.



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+2 #2 liveaboard 2014-08-06 11:00
So the government could have charged Heliportugal 16.78 million in fines on a 42 million contract; corruption or not, that would likely bankrupt the company. Would that be in the public interest? Because I assume some infrastructure will be needed to maintain the aircraft, and that's likely the same firm.
The article didn't state the entire sum charged to the state to hire helicopters during the period in question. If that amount is around 2.5 million [including fees and bribes], then I would say fair enough.
+5 #1 Peter Booker 2014-08-06 09:35
It makes me wonder whether there is any business or family connexion between the managers of Heliportugal and members of the Sócrates government. By my calculation, there are €14.7m swishing about somewhere in Heliportgal´s bank account which should be in governmental coffers. Just where did Sócrates´ millions come from?

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